The Reorganisation of the Police in Left-Bank Ukraine: from a Public Officers’ Project to an Imperial Order
The goals and results of the Little Russian police reform were determined by the fact that the imperial Russian centre lacked awareness of the realities of life in Left-bank Ukraine and the Enlightenment-inspired ideas of rationalising administration processes. The article analyses proposals for the reorganisation of the police prepared in connection with the establishment of the Collegium of Little Russia (1764‒1765) and elections to the Legislative Commission (1767‒1768). The article describes the positions of representatives from the imperial centre (Governor-general Rumyantsev’s entourage) and regional elites (the gentry and burghers) on the police issue. Minor reforms were planned in an undated secret instruction to Pyotr Rumyantsev and his report from 18 May 1765. The full-scale programme involved a change in administrative-territorial divisions, the creation of new police structures and principles of interaction with local elites, and police activity that would encompass the entire territory and population of Left-bank Ukraine. The programme appeared in the undated and unauthorised document entitled Some Notes on Little Russia (presumably from November‒December 1764) and in an instruction from the Little Russian Collegium to the Legislative Commission. The author demonstrates that a limited number of proposals for the reorganisation of the police of Left-bank Ukraine were approved, but he also emphasises their possible influence on the Constitution for the Administration of the Provinces of the Russian Empire (1775).